SCOTLAND AND WALES BAN FRACKING
The National Assembly of Wales banned shale gas fracking in Wales on February 4. It follows an announcement on January 28 that the Scottish government will temporarily ban fracking until a public health assessment is completed.
Early last year British Prime Minister David Cameron said his government was going "all out for shale".
Friends of the Earth Energy Campaigner Donna Hume welcomed the decision by the Scottish and Welsh parliaments. "The Westminster government needs to catch up with Scotland, Wales and many other areas of the world and bring in a moratorium on controversial fracking."
CROATIA TO WIPE DEBTS OF POOREST
Beginning on February 16, the poorest citizens in Croatia will have their debts wiped in a government scheme to give them a “fresh start”.
The scheme will apply to those who earn less than US$138 a month, and owe less than US$5100.
The Independent reported that it will help 317,000 Croatians whose bank accounts have been blocked due to their debts. Although the scheme will only clear 1% of all personal debt, it will affect about 20% of the country’s debtors.
CANADA DEFENDS THE RIGHT TO STRIKE
The Supreme Court of Canada has enshrined the right to strike as a constitutionally-protected right.
On January 20 the court ruled in a case that sought to limit the ability of public sector employees who perform essential services to strike.
The court said “through a strike, workers come together to participate directly in the process of determining their wages, working conditions and the rules that will govern their working lives … The ability to strike thereby allows workers, through collective action, to refuse to work under imposed terms and conditions. This collective action at the moment of impasse is an affirmation of the dignity and autonomy of employees in their working lives.”
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